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Phylogenetic approach to the study of Triatomines (Triatominae, Heteroptera)

DOI: 10.1590/S1519-69842006000400014

Keywords: heteroptera, triatominae, reduviidae, phylogeny.

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triatomines are insects belonging to the hemiptera order, heteroptera suborder, reduviidae family and triatominae subfamily. all members of this subfamily are hematophagous. triatomines evolved from reduviidae predators and they are probably polyphyletic in origin. the combination of anatomical, physiological and ethological factors observed in this group, as well as the plesiomorphic and apomorphic characters that differentiate the five tribes and fourteen triatomine genera reinforce the polyphiletic hypotesis. however if we consider the five groups of triatomines, the rhodniini, cavernicolini, bolboderini, linshcosteini and alberproseniini tribes constitute monophyletic groups, while the triatomini tribe is considered polyphyletic. the new world is the center of triatomine diversity and seems to be the point of group origin. of approximately 137 triatomine species, 105 are only found in the americas. it is now considered that triatomines represent a polyphyletic group defined according to their convergent apomorphic hematophagous characters, which have appeared several times in reduviidae. this study revises the phylogeny of these vectors of chagas' disease, covering such topics as the origin of hematophagy in triatomines and ancestral proposal for the group.


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